* Despite Putin's Declaration of Victory, Fighting Escalates in Syria On December 11, 2017, President Vladimir Putin announced victory in Syria on the tarmac of Hmeymim airbase and the withdrawal of "a large part" of Russia's forces.
* Iran nuclear deal: Trump to extend sanctions waiver - reports US President Donald Trump will continue to suspend key sanctions on Iran, and so avoiding jeopardising the 2015 nuclear agreement, US officials say.
* Over 200 million Christians worldwide facing severe persecution 215 million Christians faced the most severe persecution in 2017, resulting in 3,066 deaths and 1,020 rapes mainly targeting women.
* China's Belt and Road Initiative: What's in it for Israel? The initiative is "the new game in town" for China - and perhaps Israel.
* Trump flipflop: US bases to stay in post-war Syria for blocking Russian-Iranian consolidation President Trump's decision to keep US troops in post-war Syria comes ahead of his Friday deadline for re-certifying the nuclear accord with Iran.
* Iran threatens to greatly speed up uranium enrichment if nuclear deal annulled According to the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear work in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.
* Patriarch: Christians May be Driven Out of Holy Lands The Orthodox Christian leader of Jerusalem, Patriarch Theophilos III, has written an op-ed that should serve as a warning that the Christian presence in Jerusalem is in jeopardy.
* New report says Christians in Egypt face unprecedented persecution from Muslims It may be that al-Sisi is practicing steam control, as did Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak before him.
* Herzog Offers Temple Mount to Saudis If Labor Wins Next Elections Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog promised the Saudi website Elaph that his Labor Party and its allies would topple the right-wing Netanyahu government and lead to a two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority.
* PLO Moves to Withdraw Recognition of, Cut Ties to Israel Palestinians question whether Ramallah will follow through on its threats.
* Iran nuclear deal: European powers urge US not to withdraw European powers have urged the US not to abandon the 2015 agreement with Iran that limits its nuclear programme, saying it is making the world safer.
* Report: Abbas appealing to EU to sideline Trump in Mideast Report claims PA chief is attempting to sideline President Trump's role in Mideast peace process.
* Iranian-backed rebels targeting Red Sea Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen threatening to prevent international boats from passing through the Red Sea.
* 'My mind is actually changing': Nigel Farage calls for a second Brexit referendum The UK may need to hold a second Brexit referendum, staunch Brexiteer Nigel Farage has said. The former UKIP leader predicted that another vote would see voters back the move in "very much bigger" numbers.